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Finding Time to Sleep

March 25, 2022

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There is a funny quote that reads, “I sleep so well that I can even do it with my eyes closed.” But sadly, most people are sleep deprived. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the average adult gets less than seven hours of sleep a night, instead of the recommended seven or more hours a night. When you are well-rested, you are a better mother, father, friend, son, daughter, driver, employee, and boss. In fact, you cope with personal and professional stress much better. 

Sleep Awareness Week was March 13-19; we obviously slept through it! Personally, we should be aware of how much we sleep every week because it is so important to our well-being. 

According to a recent study from the sleep disorders clinic at Northwestern University Medical Center, for those who are sleep-deprived, a short nap, even on a train, can be helpful, even if one only gets into the lighter stages of sleep. It is still an opportunity to dissipate the mounting sleep pressure in the brain. So, even short 20-minute naps have been found to help you feel more energetic, fresh, and motivated to work once you get to your office.

While experts say every person's sleep patterns and needs vary greatly, even post-workday power naps can be very restorative for some people. Experts say the power nap gives the body just enough time to rejuvenate, but not enough time to get into deeper stages of sleep, which can leave people groggy when they wake up and try to go about the rest of their day.

Like with a great majority of things in our lives, sleeping while commuting also involves some issues we have to bear in mind:

  • The risk of falling off your seat and getting injured. As unbelievable as it may seem, it happens very often, especially if you are too tired and exhausted.

  • You might miss your final destination if you do not wake up on time.

  • The theft or loss of your personal items is yet another threat you need to be aware of. You should always be aware of your surroundings and keep any personal items on or close to your body.

  • It is very difficult to find the right posture on a bus or train. Sleeping awkwardly can cause pain in your neck and back, so you will need to come up with the right strategy to avoid this problem.

Some helpful tips:

  • Choose a seat next to a window because you will be able to lean against the window and use an improvised pillow easily. 

  • Listen to an audiobook or some relaxing music. Furthermore, the noise your fellow commuters make will not harm your sleep. If you want to get completely isolated from the surrounding, an eye mask can be very helpful.

  • To feel more comfortable and cozy, you can use your coat as a blanket.

  • Do not forget to set your alarm to go off a few minutes before your stop. Very often, this will be unnecessary because our internal clock gets used to that particular stop, and your body starts waking up always at the same time during your commute. However, having a few minutes to get together and prepare for a short walk to your office is a much better option than waking up abruptly and then frantically collecting your belongings and hurrying to get off.

Keep it here for more helpful tips from SEPTA Medical Director Dr. E [aka Dr. Jeffrey Erinoff]!!  

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